Probe roads lead to Taliban

NY plot: Pak outfits role unravels as Shahzad is quizzed

Probe roads lead to Taliban

Faisal Shahzad with wife Huma Mian (face blurred) and some unidentified people in Times Square. ReutersOfficials said that after two days of intense questioning of bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, evidence was mounting that the group, the Pakistani Taliban, had helped inspire and train him in the months before he is alleged to have parked an explosives-filled sport utility vehicle in a busy Manhattan intersection on Saturday night. Officials said Shahzad had discussed his contacts with the group, and investigators had accumulated other evidence that they would not disclose.

On Wednesday, Shahzad, the 30-year-old son of a retired senior Pakistani Air Force officer, waived his right to a speedy arraignment, a possible sign of his continuing cooperation with investigators. As his interrogation continued, Department of Homeland Security officials directed airlines to speed up their checks of new names added to the no-fly list, a requirement that might have prevented Shahzad from boarding a flight to Dubai before his arrest.

Security measures

The failed attack has produced a flurry of other proposals to tighten security procedures, including calls by members of Congress to more closely scrutinise passengers who buy tickets with cash, as Shahzad did.

American officials gave few details about what Shahzad had told investigators, and said their understanding of the plot would evolve as a dragnet spanning two continents gathered more evidence. One senior Obama administration official cautioned that “there are no smoking guns yet” that the Pakistani Taliban had directed the bombing. But others said there were strong indications that Shahzad knew some members of the group and that they probably had a role in training him.

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